Misbah-ul-Haq takes charge as HKI United win big at DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz
Pakistani captain smashes six straight sixes to help his side to victory while City Kaitak pick up first triumph
Misbah-ul-Haq is a man who never seems to be in a hurry, even as he is hitting six straight sixes and leading his HKI United team to an impressive victory in the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
The Pakistan captain languidly smashed 82 not out in 37 balls as United made their tournament debut on Thursday with a 33-run victory over the Hung Hom JD Jaguars.
In the second match of the day, City Kaitak picked up their first victory by beating Galaxy Gladiators Lantau by six wickets with 28 balls remaining.
The 42-year-old Misbah hit six sixes and one four across two overs to pluck 40 runs out of thin air and help his team to 216 for six in 20 overs.
Jaguars, who beat Gladiators by 27 runs in their opening match on Wednesday, turned in a battling chase but could only manage 183 for the loss of eight wickets in their innings.
West Indies’ Jonathan Foo struck a 47-ball 77 while Hong Kong’s Nizakat Khan hit 34 for Jaguars.
Misbah and his rival captain Kinchit Shah, of Hong Kong, agreed that the Pakistani’s blistering closing overs proved decisive.
“That was crucial because when we are playing for this team, we don’t know what resources we have or what the batting line-up is like, so we try to bat through all 20 overs and see what we can do to the maximum,” said Misbah.
“That’s what I was trying to do, play normal cricketing shots until the last couple of overs and then with these short boundaries we can take 35-40 runs and try to get 200 plus runs. We capitalised on the last two overs.”
Ashley Caddy, who picked up a hat-trick on Wednesday, was the victim of Misbah’s tactics, having earlier bowled three good overs.
Said Shah: “I think that last over was one of the reasons we lost. It’s disappointing to lose, chasing 217 is a big target but definitely achievable.
“We had a decent start with 90 from the first 10 overs and then wickets started to fall.”
In the second match, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan led the way with a 38 as City Kaitak cruised to 158 for four in 15.2 overs.
Dilshan lasted only two balls in his first innings on Wednesday against Kowloon Cantons after being given out LBW in a decision he didn’t agree with but on Thursday he benefited as he snicked the ball to compatriot Kumar Sangakkara but was given not out.
Earlier, Gladiators scored 155 for nine in 20 overs with their Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath again top-scoring with 42.
“Definitely I’m really happy today,” said Dilshan, a World Cup T20 winner with Sri Lanka. “Yesterday we had a good game but were not on the winning side but we came back strongly today. From the first ball we were in the game.
“As for the decisions, these things happen. Some days the decisions are wrong and it’s part of the game. I’m just happy I got some runs today.”
Rath, who scored 45 on Wednesday, said he felt 180 to 190 would have been a competitive score and was hoping he can make the most of good starts.
“It’s good to get back to the top of the order again in T20,” said Rath. “I’m happy but then again I got two starts but have not kicked on.
“It’s good to have guys like Sangakkara and [Brian] Lara in your camp who you can speak to and learn from, they are legends of the game. It’s a big learning curve for me and looking to convert those 40s into big scores.”